Friday, May 7, 2010

Heimlich Humor

I have always had kind of a sick sense of humor and can get tickled over the most serious situations and circumstances, but yesterday I laughed until my eye make-up was down to my chin because I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a complete stranger.

I was attending a luncheon (to which I was not formally invited, but attended anyway because I was hungry) and was sitting at a table with colleagues, listening to a speaker, and chowing down on my box lunch sandwich, when all of a sudden I noticed the man at the table next to me choking.  He was trying so hard to be polite, but once we made eye contact, he began to panic.

I stood up in the middle of the room and said something like, "He's choking! Someone needs to do the Heimlich!"  Everyone in the room stood up, but no one moved forward to assist.  By this time, the man was also standing and clawing at his throat.  I (wearing a leopard print dress and stilettos) ran to his rescue.  The man was "girthy" through the middle and after a couple of unsuccessful hugs, I tried to elicit the gentlemen in the room to assist me.  They all stared back at me, wide-eyed, but didn't budge.  After a couple more attempts, the ham sandwich dislodged and all returned to normalcy.  The speaker picked up where she left off and everyone sat down and resumed their eating.

So why was this so amusing to me?  Well, it wasn't until that afternoon when I recounted the story to my mother on the phone.  It was during this retelling that the situation began to feel like a Seinfeld episode.  I pictured myself in that outfit and shoes, arms stretched to the max, trying desperately to help the poor man and I got hysterical.  It was a good half-hour before I recovered.  Anyway, he lived.  So I guess it's okay to laugh then, right?

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